I don’t usually manage to get my head around episode synopses but I really wanted to say a few words about the brilliant Election Day Pt 1. So here are my semi-coherent ramblings…
So many good things to say, and most of them have already been said by others – namely caz963. But I’ve been thinking about this episode today (no, really, don’t be surprised!) and it’s one of those episodes that needs a little digesting to get all the subtleties.
I think what I was expecting was that this episode would see Josh and Donna ‘get together’, but what they gave us was so much more than that, and I love them for it! I was expecting this to be the end of the J/D arc, but they’ve just ratcheted up the tension another notch. Yay!!!!
Although I was really surprised at the awkward morning after scene, I loved it! It was so perfectly them, especially Josh who, by the way, was entirely adorable throughout! OMG! The way he reached over, brushed her shoulder and then practically hid under the duvet was somehow hysterically funny, completely awkward, and unbearably sweet at the same time. And isn’t that almost the very definition of Josh? I loved that whole scene.
When I first watched it I was confused by Donna’s reaction, and I still am to a certain extent. Mostly, perhaps, because if Josh said ‘How are you feeling?’ to me in that way I’d melt on the spot! I’m trying to figure her out (any tips would be welcome!) but I’m pretty sure we’ll understand her more by the end of the season. I think, perhaps, she’s trying to keep an emotional distance here because of the depth of her feelings for him. She’s not ready to take the final step into an emotional relationship, and I love that.
I love that they’re evolving this relationship backward which is, actually, much more realistic than the usual fan fic method (*holds up guilty hand*) of getting the emotional resolution sorted out before the sex. When you think about it, there is no way that Josh and Donna would have talked about their feelings first – sex is so much less complicated.
And perhaps that’s why Donna wants to be Ms. Professional the whole time, because it’s just far less scary. She’s keeping her escape route open – ‘it was just a campaign fling, it didn’t mean anything’ – to protect herself in case Josh goes and starts saying things like *cough* ‘a lot of people will be doing the walk of shame this morning’ *cough*.
See? This is why these writers get paid the big bucks and deserve it. They make us think, and they’re so good at it.
But what I loved most about this episode was that it managed to move their relationship forward, and yet hold off on the emotional resolution which is, ultimately, far more meaningful than the sexual resolution. They’ve slept together, but really they are no closer than before to sorting out their feelings.
I think this was brilliantly and intentionally demonstrated by the fact that, although they slept together twice, the only time we saw them touch each other was when Josh just barely brushed Donna’s shoulder in the morning-after scene. How clever is that? It illustrates perfectly the emotional gap that still needs to be crossed, and knowing how meticulously this show is put together I don’t for a moment think that was accidental.
For me, it was a stroke of genius – we know they’ve slept together, and yet they’re as emotionally distant as before and the tension hasn’t been broken at all. In fact, it’s only increased. Brilliant, just brilliant.
As for the promo… OMG!
I have to put aside the truth about John Spencer in order to think about these episodes, and I figure if the people on the show decided to dramatise it then we’re expected to respond to the fictional drama rather than (or as well as?) the real tragedy. So, on that level, the little snippet of Josh literally crying on Donna’s shoulder pretty much broke my heart, and I think that’s where we’re going to start seeing the emotional resolution. I mean, there is already hugging, comforting, everything that there wasn’t in this week’s episode. They’re obviously playing with that contrast between the physical and the emotional, and it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see more…
This show is so far beyond good it’s not even funny!